Exergaming Journal #6: The Ring Fit 14-Day Challenge!

The fitness gaming drive continues! I recently made a switch to heavily focusing on arcade dancing games, but I was recently tagged by Twitter user Super Jude to participate in a 14-day Ring Fit Adventure challenge: Play the game some way over 14-straight days. I finally found a good stretch of time to do this and made a journal of notes for each day.

Revisiting my thoughts on routinely playing Ring Fit back in July:

“I have kept up with Fitness Boxing and Ring Fit Adventure, but, as feared in my previous journal entry, I know I’m quickly hitting the ceiling of wanting to revisit both games. I very much have a desire to exercise still, but my interest in using both games is waning fast.

“I’m also at a point where Ring Fit Adventure is getting quite repetitive. We’re in the middle of a quest to rescue four fitness gurus and the story keeps cycling us around in our encounters with these characters. Much like in Fitness Boxing, the pool of new content and things to do is starting to dry up in Ring Fit Adventure. However, I think there is more left in the tank for this game compared to Fitness Boxing.

“I’m considering some other methods of play for Ring Fit Adventure, as the story segments are fluctuating between its focus on the body. I’m at a point where I’d rather focus on core strength and arms/shoulders, but the game wants me to do leg exercises in order to effectively do the RPG-style battles.”

In summation, even though I took an extended break from Ring Fit Adventure, the game was extremely easy to get back into. The game format thankfully switched itself up, allowing me to put more focus onto exercises I was more interested in.

For this period, I became a little less conscious of outright weight loss. Even though I had hit the mid-180s for my weight, I noticed my body seemed a little more flabby compared to the time in 2014 I dropped my weight. Thus, I shifted direction to trying to tone a couple areas of my body. I really wanted to attack my core and upper body as opposed to doing the leg and yoga exercises, and in fully exploring Ring Fit Adventure, I found items that did the trick.

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Day One
After not turning the game on for a couple of months, I was glad the game didn’t chide me for doing so. I’ve noticed some fitness games give you a “IT’S BEEN A WHILE” statement and try to preach on routines, but that didn’t happen in Ring Fit Adventure.

The game only presents you with a menu, which it usually does, asking if you would like to adjust the difficulty. Not knowing what to expect, I did knock my difficulty down by two notches, taking me from 25 to 23.

It was very easy to get back into the story mode, as the game gives you story recaps and prompts. I used an experience point boost item to get back into the game and leveled up four times over two battles. I was still unlocking more new exercises to do, and, thankfully at this point the skill tree grew even larger.

I unlocked the leg scissor exercise, and this became one of my mid-section go-to exercises. I moved on to world nine following a boss fight to progress the story.

I also participated in the endless challenge mini-games, which are still pretty demanding of your muscles. I haven’t stopped doing simple exercises such as using my resistance bands, so I was able to record personal-best reps/times even though I hadn’t played for some time.

The session also allowed me to dabble into the rhythm mode a little. The mode is quite fun on the novice difficulty, but I still hadn’t done much in it outside of a couple songs.

Day Two
Although I kept with other methods of exercise, the Ring Fit workout hit a little differently. I slept harder overnight and felt extra drained of energy when waking up.

I did new endless mode challenges, this time paying attention to the rankings box. I actually pressed the button to toggle the rankings and found the different filters. I hadn’t realized before that there was a “world” ranking filters, with a setting that refreshes this ranking each week for those that still play the game.

I also did free sets for the first time in order to target ab and upper shoulder workouts, which furthermore allowed me to do new exercises I have not unlocked yet in the story mode. The setting also allowed me to dive straight into the different exercises with little downtime in between each, which kept the pace going.

This session also revisited the rhythm mode, this time focusing on the core and legs. The arms and core session has you rotating, pushing and pulling the ring, but the core and legs setting presses the ring into your abs and requires squatting and twisting. The core and legs setting is definitely more active and harder to do, but definitely works the different body parts.

Day Three
One of the timed challenges I did on day two was the knee lift challenge, which I had not done before. I did the challenge twice that day and I felt soreness in my leg muscles for day three. I re-did a few of the endless mode challenges and got dramatically better personal bests.

On this day I fully concentrated on arm and shoulder exercises and played more rhythm mode. I got more “flawless” rankings on the novice difficulties, prompting me to eventually try harder difficulties.

I largely took things easy on this day due to how my leg muscles were feeling.

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Day Four
My leg muscles were feeling much better this day, even after waking up earlier and doing a little bit of walking.

I went back into story mode, entering world nine, which was another world focusing on the upper body. I got halfway through the world, including the detour with extra routes, and leveled up four more times.

The game started to stagnate a little in the previous few worlds, but it started to seem like I was hitting another layer of the game. I unlocked a new ring ability – a double jump – and the skill tree has vastly expanded. I believe there is only one more ability to unlock at this point. While I thought I was hitting a plateau in the game, it appears there is still far more to see.

Going on my streak of playing the game, I unlocked the “Devoted to Fitness” in-game title, which felt pretty rewarding.

My schedule allowed me to play the game during the day instead of it being one of the last things I do at night. I felt this might help my motivation a little more. I was more inclined to keep going since the exercise wasn’t cutting into my nightly sleep time.

I did a 26-minute session and could feel my upper body got a decent workout.

Day Five
I worked late on this day, so I kept my session to a minimum – I try to go no shorter than 15 minutes.

Because of this, I used the custom fitness list for the first time. I was able to pick out upper body exercises and combine them with mini-games and the rhythm mode songs. This mode also tracks your elapsed time and calories, which was something I was pleased to discover. It always bothered me that the quick-play modes do not track these stats for you.

I found I was getting fatigued in my lower arm muscles, so I switched my focus to doing squats and the rhythm mode. I planned an extended session for the next day.

Day Six
I put in a 35-minute session for the story mode, which had me clear everything in world nine except for the final Dragaux stage. At this point I bumped the difficulty back up by two. I worked to a good sweat, but my body didn’t get tired during this session.

The double jump was now really being worked into the stages, which gave me something unique to see through the running segments. The session was largely uneventful, but the battles allowed me to cycle through exercises such as the leg scissor and knee lifts, along with arm exercises and the step combo.

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Day Seven
I did only the Dragaux battle during this session, which was fine because the boss stages require a lot of repetitions. This was the week of the Veterans Day holiday in the United States, so my schedule was weird and limited how much time I could put into the game.

Dragaux seemed to have more health this time around, so the battle carried on and still gave me a good workout using my go-to exercises.

Day Eight
I took another easy day on this day, toying with the custom fitness list a little more. It’s great you are able to save your lists to quickly get into an exercise routine featuring your favorite exercises. The game also makes note of how many times you’ve participated in the custom mode, which creates another list of stats for your profile.

Day Nine
I had to be awake early, so I was able to concentrate and do a full story mode session. I ultimately ran short on time, as I wanted to do a 30-plus-minute session, but I was still able to get in 20 minutes.

World 10 has a series of mini-game challenges, with a few courses mixed into the middle. This was a good change of pace compared to the course/battle format of the other worlds. This kept things moving a good clip, giving the player the satisfaction of quick progression. Being based on the mini-games, there isn’t much to say about the session other than it being a good time.

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Day 10
I was able to pick things back up with a 33-minute session on the story mode, clearing world 10 up to the Dragaux fight.

At this point, I’ve been unlocking level two exercises, which allow me to do way more damage to the enemies in the game. I started noticing the rotation of exercises that unlock switch between different target areas, which makes me feel like leveling up rotates the workouts to different parts of my body.

This is great because the exercises I’ve done for a group of days are starting to become very easy for me to do, and the new exercises challenge different muscles. The rotation to level two exercises also brings back exercises I had done at the beginning of the game, which allowed me to feasibly cycle back to the arm exercises I liked doing while still being able to fight the stronger monsters I was encountering at this point in the game.

I invested my skill points for an attack state boost and new exercises to challenge different muscles. At this stage, I was really leveraging experience point bonuses, so I started to feel like I was becoming slightly overleveled at this point in the game. That is mostly fine because I have the options toggled to let me do complete sets of exercise reps even if the enemy runs out of hit points.

The mini-boss on this world challenged me with a string of long poses needed to defend, which was interesting. Between a recent focus on arms and abs, the leg exercises were really starting to get to me, so I might need to put more focus on those.

Day 11
This was another day where I pretty much only fought through the Dragaux stage. Dragaux is a strong opponent, so this fight is usually guaranteed to give me a 15-minute session.

Day 12
I had a very full day of work on this day, so this was probably the prime day over the two-week period where I really had to push myself to get in a session. To keep up the streak, I filled in some scores in the rhythm mode and hit very quick sessions of abs and cardio.

Break Day
While it kind of defeated the purpose of going for a 14-day challenge, this was the day I attended the Cleveland Gaming Classic. I was on the road all day and decided I shouldn’t force myself into a session on this day. Despite not playing Ring Fit Adventure on this day, I spent all day walking around the event venue and even played a game of DanceDanceRevolution. It’s been an extremely long time since I’ve been cheered for playing a game of DDR.

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Day 13
Getting back into Ring Fit Adventure, I put in a 30-minute session to get through part of world 11.

At this point I was getting more challenges such as clearing stages using only a certain amount of steps. This was a welcome change of pace and switched up how I handled the running segments.

I’m continually getting access to new exercises, which is very helpful in changing up my routines.

Day 14
I put in a 20-minute session on this day, and, even though this culminates to the final day of the 14-day challenge, I’d have to say nothing much unique or exciting happened in this session.

I did a lot of optional enemy fights with a focus on my abs and arms. These stages had a lot of running, so there was more of a cardio workout and calorie burn compared to normal.

It had been a while since this had happened, but I actually ran into a new enemy type in this session. The enemies resemble a protein drink shaker and can do moves that bring down your attack stats. It’s weird to think how long it has been since there was such a change in enemy type, so this really stuck out to me.

It was a bit of an anti-climatic session, but this put me at the end of my 14-day challenge.

Conclusion
Overall, I was glad I did the 14-day challenge. It had me explore even more areas of the game while providing unique exercise opportunities. I had a sliver of skepticism going into the challenge, but this was quickly washed away when I started playing. Going back into sessions was like riding a bike, and I was quickly reminded of how fun the game is.

While I get more enjoyment out of the arcade dancing games, I would still say Ring Fit Adventure is the best game I’ve ever played that puts fitness at the forefront. It “gamifies” exercise in a way that few other video games do and constantly switches things up to keep your fitness journey interesting.

As for my fitness standing? At the moment, I’ve held steady in weight, which I’m fine with considering my goal for the challenge was targeting body parts. I believe there is slightly more definition in my upper body, but I don’t think I’ve visibly cut much around the mid-section. I don’t find that discouraging, though, as I could easily do a diet adjustment if I was really concerned about straight-up weight loss.

I’ve kind of hit a groove where I am able to enjoy healthier foods I like, but this tends to put me close to the 1,900 daily Calories my fitness app recommends for the day. With a couple of adjustments, I could cut some of those Calories and more aggressively target weight loss. Being so close to my initial main goal, though, I’m mostly fine with the slow burn of dropping an average of one pound per week. I still get to eat plenty and it isn’t very demanding on my body.

Moving forward, I’ve had the thought of plugging Fitness Boxing back into the system, but, using some “Black Friday” (it still isn’t even Thanksgiving as I write this) sales, I finally caved in and ordered Knockout Home Fitness by XSEED Games. The fitness journey isn’t over by a longshot, so the exergaming journals will keep coming!

Stay healthy and keep having fun with those exergames!

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Categories: GemuBaka Feature

Author:indiesnack

Indie Snack is a video gaming Web site focusing on independent developers and game releases. Indie Snack will also soon have services made available to independent developers to include tools aiding them in public relations and game marketing.

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    […] Continue to Exergaming Journal #6 […]

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